Nitecore HC65

3 years ago written by

I received the Nitecore HC65 from Nitecore for the review

The HC65 is a versatile headlamp, featuring a flood HICRI beam, a flood Red beam and a throwy beam. The headlamp is powered by a single 18650 and is rechargeable via micro USB.

The HC65 comes in this box

In the box: the Light, micro USB cable, a 18650 3400mAh battery, spare o-rings, manual, headband

The HC65 shares some designs element of the HC60

The headband is made of plastic with some rubber elements molded in that keep the light in place

On one side of the headlamp you have a regular tailcap, with anodized threads, that encloses the slot for a 18650 battery.

On the other side there is a double stage switch with rubber cover, underneath it the micro USB port for charging the battery

The HC65 next to the provided battery

As before mentioned, the light has different LED emitters: a red one, a flood HICRI one, and a XM-L2 in a smooth reflector (in reality there is a small blue LED that acts as a battery indicator and is positioned nearby the RED and HICRI one).

With the headband


Outdoor shots

Output and runtime
Tested with the provided battery

My thoughts
The light is well built and finished.
I like the UI with direct access to last used mode, highest, lowest mode.
I am usually not a great fan of red beams, but on the HC65 the red beam is quite bright and with a perfectly flood beam (IE no artifacts or shadow cast); and the same beam quality is found on the HICRI mode. They both have a small output of few lumens, enough to see around you in complete darkness, or to do closeup work in the darkness without being blinded and preserving low light vision.
For seeing at further distance and for high outputs, you still have the XM-L2 emitter in the smooth reflector. Although even this beam is quite usable for walking around, since the spill arrives at your feet as you can see in the beamshots.
I don’t like so much the fact that the headband mount is “proprietary”, and the fact that if you are a unorganized person (as myself), you could lose the tailcap during the charging process. Regarding this, I would like that tailcap to be secured to the body via a small string of glued cord.
I don’t like that the direct access to turbo from off is just a momentary feature, although it is possible to obtain the turbo output constant (as performed in the graphic) by scrolling trough the outputs. The battery indicator / locator are easy to understand and useful.
I wish the red and the HICRI modes had more brightness and more outputs, and the XM-L2 came in a NW tint.

Thanks to: AntoLed for the camera help and the luxmeter.

Article Categories:
18650 · Headlamp · NITECORE · Rechargeable